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Bathroom duty

Lisa Schultz | Wednesday, October 5, 2005

My mom’s greatest fear of her youngest daughter going to college had nothing to do with homesickness, falling behind in school, or finding new friends – it was that I would refuse to use public bathrooms. To give you an idea of how much I truly hate the concept of community toilets, consider this: in grade school, Mom would pick me up at 3 p.m., run me home to go and change, and return me back to school for volleyball practice.

Even though public bathrooms still gross me out on a daily basis, it is not fair to lump all campus toilets together. Some are cleaner than I keep my bathroom at home, while others are more rancid than dog kennels. After a year of research, here are the Notre Dame bathroom superlatives.

Most worth the walk across campus: Hammes Bookstore. There’s a reason this is the second biggest tourist site in the state of Indiana, and it’s not the new Popeye leprechaun.

Most reverent: Main Building. I actually saw someone drying off the counter with the towel they’d just used to dry their hands yesterday. High school seniors touring campus should be informed that their residence halls’ bathrooms will look nothing like this.

Most awkward: Notre Dame Stadium. Why are all the flush handles crooked?

Most likely to creep you out past dark: Basement of SDH. Any female member of The Observer staff will vouch that you’d almost rather drip dry than continue freaking out over the possibility of someone breaking into the window – the basement window. Also, although not really contributing to its creepiness, this location attempts masking the unavoidable public bathroom aroma with a cinnamon overload.

Most popular: CoMo. Although the bathrooms are identical on every floor, they only get cleaner as you go upstairs. Plus they never run out of paper towels.

Most likely to be called a whore: DeBartolo. Used often, utterly forgettable and always dirty.

Most Old School: split: O’Shag and The Rock. O’Shag has archaic fixtures, including a mystery closed valve on the sink in the individual female bathroom. The Rock’s bathrooms get the title for sheer age, but the first floor bathroom is just one giant fart. Therefore, O’Shag definitely scores more points for allowing users to inhale while in the commode.

Most desperate for attention: LaFortune. A male source wishing to remain nameless for knowingly breaking male bathroom code informs me that there has been a penny in the middle urinal of the basement level since the beginning of this semester. Clean the place.